The dusty colony near Ahmedabad’s garbage dump at Pirana, called “Citizen Nagar” where 183 riot affected families from Naroda Patiya and Gulberg massacre were re-located, wore a deserted look on Monday, with most of its inhabitants away to Gulberg Society to attend a programme to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2002 riots.
In house No. 24, Javed Saiyed, whose mother Noorbano Saiyed is a witness in the Naroda Patiya case, was lying in his bed. Noorbano was among the 50-odd people from the colony who were away to Gulberg. “I also wanted to go but could not since I am down with fever,” 25-year-old Javed said.
Javed’s family of eight - three younger brothers, parents, wife and a two-year-old son - lives in the two-room-kitchen house provided by a Muslim organisation in 2004.
“Luckily, we all survived but that was the day (February 28, 2002) I would not like to remember. I have to take care of my family,” says Javed, who drives a dairy delivery van and an auto-rickshaw for a living.
Though scarred by that day, Javed says he frequently visits his Hindu friends in Kubernagar and Naroda. “Many confess they were instigated and misled by politicians. They regret they did wrong to some,” he says.
Javed’s younger brother Iqbal (18), however, says he still cannot shake off the memories of that fateful day. “I know we have to leave it behind, but how can I forget scenes of children being put to swords, women being molested and the dead bodies in Teesra Kuan! When I remember all this, it causes a lot of heartache,” says the teenager who drives a garbage-collection van for a private firm.
From Indian Express